Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, May 23, 2011

MY SOLIDARITY FAST BEGINS TODAY

I have decided to begin an open-ended fast today in solidarity with Yang Yoon-Mo and the other eight leaders recently arrested for trying to stop the Navy base construction in the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. By my calculations, professor Yang is now on his 49th day of his hunger strike.

Having twice visited this beautiful island village, and seeing first-hand how the Navy base construction was at that time already impacting this small farming and fishing community, I feel I must do more to help. In my visit there I was particularly touched by the sad thought of concrete being poured over the rocks to make the piers for the visiting U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers that are built here at Bath Iron Works in Maine.

All I could see in my mind's eye was the abundant sea and plant life, living amongst the rocks, being completely destroyed as the concrete was poured over them. How could I not feel the sadness of that action? How could I not see that the presence of these warships, outfitted with missile offense systems, was going to heat up tensions in the Asian-Pacific as the U.S. continues its military encirclement of China? It's all pure insanity as far as I am concerned.

In the photo above you see these man-made concrete things called "tetra-pods" being placed into the ocean alongside the rocks. It appears that they are being used to help create a larger space that would eventually also be covered with cement to widen the docks for the ships.

I plan to produce a leaflet today that explains the situation on Jeju Island and talks about Yang's hunger strike and the others now in jail. I will also make a large sign that reads "Where do these Aegis go?" and stand at the shipyard when workers come out of work. I plan to do this each weekday from 2:30-3:30 pm as long as Yang continues with his hunger strike or until he dies as he vows to do unless construction is halted.

I have to do something more. This is something I can do, I must do.

I hope others will join in fasting for a day or more if you are moved to do so. Let me know if you do fast so I can share your name on the blog. People need to know about this Navy base struggle on Jeju Island in South Korea.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pls add my name I will fast for a day in solidarity with Yang-Yoon-Mo and the villagers on Jeju island

Yang's fast HAS accomplished its goal, it has made an impact — globally.

now he must end his fast IMMEDIATELY for his unique PRESENCE is too VITAL to Mother Nature for him to take it away from her

Arlette Lurie

5/29/11, 10:37 PM  

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